Saturday, September 13, 2008

Deivathin Kural # 52 of (Vol 2) of 26 Nov 2007.

Om Namah Sivaya.

Deivathin Kural # 52 of (Vol 2) of 26 Nov 2007.

(We are to remind the readers that herein, 'he' as a word stands for 'she' as well. When Tamil or Sanskrit words are transliterated in English, the single vowel will indicate a short utterance and a double vowel will indicate a longer pronounciation. Words in Sanskrit script not being available, the transliteration spellings and thereby the pronounciation, especially of names may be at variance from what it should be!)

The Matter of Non-Brahmins.

1. What you have said earlier is about how a Brahmin has to come up in life and attain to Self Realization! How about those who are not Brahmins? Do they not have to be cleansed to perfection? After all they do not have these Karma Anushtanam and Veda Adhyayanam. What are they supposed to do? The answer lies in, "Work is Worship". For each his work itself provides the 'chitta suddhi'. The work should be done in that attitude. Whether it is carpentary or masonry; casual labour or specialised; soldiering or soldering; or whatever, do your job with the clarity that it is an offering to your God. Then you are 'done'! This fact has been very clearly stated in Baghawat Gita [ XVIII-46 ], "...swa karmana tam abyarchya siddhim vindati manava :...".

2. That brings me to the question as to what exactly is the profession of a Brahmin? Like others have, soldiering, policing, trading, service, nursing and so on; what exactly is the job of this Brahmin for this society? Every body does some business in their worldly involvement. In all this, what is the most important need or requirement on which the success of every type of life is dependent? Can we name it as 'the grace of God'? To obtain that commodity, 'the Grace of God' for the society as a whole is the job of the Brahmin. As said earlier, all the Devatas are like God's bureaucracy and it is their co-operation and blessing that is sought by the Brahmin, on behalf of all life forms. His Adhyayanam, learning of the Vedas, practice of all Anushtana of Karmas and Yagnas; are all directed towards obtaining the welfare of all people and life forms. Since his job is concerned with powers much above the normal run of this worldly events; he has to maintain a very high level of personal purity and cleanliness, physically, mentally and morally. Only then he will be enabled to earn the powers of the Mantra, for the sake of all. Once we understand this, we will not begrudge, his having to keep himself a little apart, physically.

3. Other than this esoteric duty of his, the Brahmin has another important role to play in the worldly life. That is to study and master at least one more profession, not for practicing but to be a master and teach. That is how there has been 'Acharyas' in every profession from amongst the Brahmins. In other words, 'Teaching' is his profession. They are the Gurus. Viswakarma in carpentry, Dronacharya in Archery, Dhanvantry in Medicine, Chanakya in Artha Saastra; to name a few. They are required to study the ins and outs of every profession and learn so as to be able to teach! To learn all the nuances and delicate subtle points of the profession and become an expert, but remain short of practicing that profession, so that he can teach that to the professional. More than protecting others, the Nation and Society, such as soldiering and Policing; more than trading and commercial activities; more than any other work requiring physical labour; the Brahmins work, since it protects the profession, minds, hearts and culture of the people of that society; his work becomes extremely responsible. Unless that job is done by a person of high maturity and equipoise, his work is likely to be futile. Unless he himself is very clean of heart and mind, he cannot lift others to excellence. Simultaneously, he runs a greater risk than others.

4. That risk is the fact that, since his inputs to the system is more cerebral, based on brain, intellect and intuition, he has a big handicap. His ability to influence the super natural, and his capacity to teach the professional his profession, can lead to boosting of his ego beyond reasonable limits. That can easily be the cause for his downfall. So he has to do guard against pride. So as to keep him under reigns, he is required to go through the wringer, of 40 different Samskaras. For the Mantras to be effective, he has to abide with very difficult restrictions on his mental and physical behaviour and attitude. We do see some people still practicing Mantra Siddhi against Snake bites and Scorpion bites! Unless they maintain a very strict discipline, with the slightest deviation from the norm, they find that the Mantra is not effective! They have many do's and dont's. Some timings and some days are taboo. Doopam has to be shown at a particular time. At a different time, a 'live-sacrifice' is to be given. (These days, the 'live-sacrifice', is given by breaking a co-conut.) Thus, all the rules and restrictions are meant for the Mantras to be effective enough and for that Veda-vit to get so cleansed of body, heart and mind. Thus a total functional set of Mantras, it's procedural do's and dont's, and the philosophical analysis of the theme; all come within a branch of Veda.

Alive Branches of Vedas.

5. People in the past were far more capable, had better memory and powers of concentration. Each one was practicing many branches of the Vedas. Their range of grasp from their respective Gurus was vast and retentivity was very high compared to the people of modern times. Many of them could fathom the depths of / or tune on to, the cosmic sounds and bring out ever new branch of the Vedas, like bringing out a pearl from the depths of the ocean or making contact with some other source of intelligence. Yes it is true that Vedas were too vast and no one knew it all. But there were many people of the past who knew more than normally others. In later days the devine yogic powers in individuals dwindled and hit the rock bottom, by the time Kali Yuga started. What is so described in Puraanas, is what is said by Nachchinaarkku Iniyaar, in the comment on Tholkappiyam, when the poet calls the people of Kali Yuga as, "...chinnaal + palpini + chirrarivinor...". (KTSV adds:- I need to first explain the name of the poet. I do not know whether it is a He or a She. But the word, 'nachchinaarkkiniyar' brings before the eye, some one vastly knowledgeable, normally reluctant, taciturn and reserved towards all and sundry and may be sweetly forthcoming once he is convinced about your sincerity of purpose! Now to the meaning of the Quotation. 'chinnal' = short lived; 'palpini' = multiple diseased; 'chirru arivinor' = small minded people.)

6. We cannot say as to why should it be so. All this is God's play? Having learnt many Vedas and followed it up by systematic conduct of Yaagas and Yagnas; and towards the end of ones life also done much 'Atma Vichaara'; such people from generation to generation should be going from strength to strength. Is it not so? Instead, why should it be going from bad to worse? I am not capable of answering this question. What we think of as God or Paramatma, should be constant, not subject to change. Could He be playing a varying roll? Though Darvin and others claim that the world is all the time evolving towards perfection, when you consider spiritual, intellectual, attitudinal and behavioural integrity and brilliance; there is a watering down of values. Narrow mindedness seems to be winning over large heartedness. Materialism seems to march far ahead of spiritual advancement. Are we evolving? Are we progressing? Evolving into zombies and automatons? The lowest seemed to be the start of Kali Yuga, after which we seem to be touching unfathomed depths of regression!

7. From Kruta Yuga, human longivity and mental and physical capabilities have come down. In that Yuga individual life was as long as the bones lasted. Even when everything else such as, blood, nerves, muscles etc, decimated, as long as the bones were OK, the person was OK. They had tremendous memory. They were known as, 'asti gata praanaa:'. In 'Treta Yuga', they were known as 'mamsa gata praanaa:'. That is, even when all the blood supply has dried up, they will continue to live. They were physically very capable and so could do the 'Yagna karmas' quite efficiently. The next Yuga is 'Dwapara Yuga'. They were known as 'Rudira gata praanaa:'. Rudiram in Tamil is 'udiram'. These people's life was till drying up of blood. They were good in 'Pooja'. Now, the people of Kali Yuga, are known as 'anna gata praanaa:'. Stop their food and they will die. We have neither Dhayana Sakthi nor Karma Anushtana / Pooja Sakthi. What we are capable is only to chant, 'Krishna Rama Govinda'. Yes, this 'Nama Smarana' is powerful enough. But, does it give us licence to let all the Vedas go by default? Is it not an irrepairable loss?

8. With Sri Krishna Baghawan's physical demise, started that process of deterioration. From the moment He dropped His body, a great darkness enveloped the whole Universe. His name is also Black. He was born in the mid-night darkness, inside a dungeon of a jail. But He was a powerful brilliant light of Aatma Gnaana, awareness, knowledge and kindness. His disappearance from the world had to mean a loss of all that He stood for and Kali Purushas reign started. It is all a play, leading towards the end of Kali Yuga, end of another Chatur Yuga, Pralaya, Armageddon. He came as a powerful light. Then as He was leaving this world, He created a scene as though there will be fearful total darkness. Then out of His extreme compassion, He decided not to have total darkness, but to give the world a suitable antidote for Kali. Vedas are that antidote. If that is not gobbled up by Kali, the world will survive. The Vedas will be a kindly light that will lead the world out of its darkness. It will not be possible even for Vedas, to shine with their earlier effulgence, in Kali. But it can be revived and made easy for the human beings of Kali, with their limited capabilities. So, He did this great favour to the world through His namesake, Veda Vyaasar.

9. Veda Vyaasar's name was also Krishna. He was born in an island / dweepam. So he was called Krishna Dwaipaayanar. He did Tapasya under a 'Ilandai / Bher / Badari' tree. So, he was also known as Badarayanar. He knew all the 1,180 branches of Vedas, that had come through the efforts of many Rishis. They were all one huge flow. Since He was an Avatara of Vishnu, He had the capacity and power to absorb all that. For our sake He divided them in to four Vedas, with so many branches. Like creating a dam in the flow of a river and channelising it into a number of canals. That was His greatness of Yoga and Tapas. Thus came into being, Rik Veda Branches of Prayers; Yajur Veda Branches of Yagna Procedures, Sama Veda Branches of Music; and Atharva Veda Branches of Special Mantras and Yagnas, for protection from evil and dealing with opponents. Saama Vedam, which was pleasing the Devas with musical invocations, had the maximum of about a thousand branches. Rik had 21 branches, Yajus had 109, (Sukla Yajus 15 and Krishna Yajus 94), Atharva with 50 branches. This total of 1180 is as gleaned from Vishnu Purana. There is another calculation of Rik 21, Yajus 101, Sama 1000, Atharva 11; totalling 1133.

10. Since the yet to arrive people of Kali Yuga would be with limited capability and shorter life span; Veda Vyasa concluded that, it is enough for each individual to learn and practice one branch of the Vedas. His this thought, should be considered as God's will, as it should be, is it not so? So the earlier practice of one man learning more than one veda became defunct. He gave one Veda each to each of His four Sishyas and told them to spread those branches. Rik Veda was given to Pfilar, Yajus to Vaisampayanar, Saama was given to Jaimini and Atharva was given to Sumanthu; to propogate their respective branches. This division of Vedas in to four main branches and each of them in to so many sub-branches / Shakas; was done by Krishna Dwaipayanar and so He got the name of Veda Vyasar. 'Vyasam' means an Article / Essay / Composition. Vyasam is to Differentiate and then Integrate. That is, 'Paguththu Arivathu', that they make much about!

11. When He said that learning of one Branch was enough, it does not mean that learning more was forbidden. Minimum was atleast one branch. It is about five thousand years, since Vyasar did this division of Vedas. This is a fair estimate. The research scholors used to date Maha Bharatham and place it at, 1500 B.C. Subsequently, they agreed that it could be as far back as 3000 B.C. Even after Veda Vyasar's time there have been people who made efforts to learn more than one Veda. We have heard of Dwivedi, Trivedi and Chaturvedi. Dubey and Dave are distortion of Dwivedi only. In Bengal, the same names are variously called as Bannerjee, Mukherjee, Chatterjee, Mukhopadyay and Chattopadyay. Though the claim is tall, they could have learnt only a branch each in two or three or four Vedas. Even that is only in name sake these days. Someone amongst their ancestors might have learnt more than one branch of the Vedas. Amongst the 63 Nayanmars, Thiru Gnana Sambandar claims himself to be, "naan marai gnana sambandan". His father left him on the banks of the Temple tank, when he was a very small baby, to bathe. The baby cried because of hunger. Mother Parvathi herself came to 'breast feed' the baby. She not only fed the baby, but filled his heart and soul with the food of divine awareness and Gnaana forever. So, it is but natural that he could claim that He knew all the four Vedas!




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